Written By: Charlotte Boone
In the Multinational Survey of the Aging Male in 2004, we learned that 83% of men over 50 have sex1. Yes, ten PhDs got together at a Robert Wood Johnson Medical school and made the groundbreaking discovery that a man’s sex drive does not vanish in a puff of smoke on his 50th birthday. This study, however, also told the medical community just how common it is for men in this age group to have difficulty achieving erection – 48.7% of respondents, to be exact.
Little blue pill: the only option?
It is the belief of most people that the only option for this incredibly common problem is Viagra or Cialis. Images come to mind of cheesy pharmaceutical commercials and the punchline for the “parent’s story line” in sitcoms. However, like any other medical condition, there are actually several options to treat erectile dysfunction.
One of these options is “triple mix” or “trimix” a compounded medication with three ingredients that is injected into the penis prior to sexual activity – a method of administration referred to as an “intracavernosal injection.” Now, before you write this off because of the unsettling administration method, it’s important to understand why it’s preferred by so many men.
In a 2003 study from the department of urology at Yongsang Hospital in South Korea, researchers found that among men who have tried this administration method, when trialed on oral and intracavernosal options, only 35% used oral medication exclusively after testing both.2 The main reason given by patients for choosing the injection was a better quality of erection (74%).
How does it work?
The formulation contains papaverine, phentolamine and prostaglandin E1. Three drugs which act synergistically and, together, cause the blood vessels to expand, increasing blood flow to result in an erection.
Typically, this compound is known as the most “powerful” option for men who may not respond as desired to the pill options. There are, however, many other reasons why someone might opt for this more hard-core drug to treat their erectile dysfunction. Many drug plans will not cover the cost of medications to treat erectile dysfunction, and for many patients this compound is more affordable. Someone might also choose triple mix because of an adverse reaction to using a pill, or for its rapid, more reliable response.2
A healthy, safe and happy sex life are part of everyone’s well-being. Having an open conversation with your compounding pharmacist is a great first step to assess your options, and to see if triple mix is a good option for you.
- Seftel, A. (2004). Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms and Male Sexual Dysfunction: The Multinational Survey of the Aging Male (MSAM-7). Journal of Urology, 172(5), 2093–2094. doi: 10.1097/01.ju.0000141111.23816.3d
- Kim, S., Chang, I., & Jeon, H. (2003). Preference for oral sildenafil or intracavernosal injection in patients with erectile dysfunction already using intracavernosal injection for > 1 year. BJU International, 92(3), 277–280. doi: 10.1046/j.1464-410x.2003.04324.x